- "Nano" influencers are generally defined as having fewer than 10,000 followers on Instagram.
- And some have turned their social-media hobbies into part-time jobs or side hustles.
"Nano" influencers may only have a few thousand followers, but that's not keeping them from turning a social-media hobby into a paying side hustle or even a full-time job.
Baiden, a skincare influencer who had 4,000 Instagram followers and 8,000 TikTok followers when Insider interviewed her, earns money as a full-time content creator.
Brand deals are one way that Baiden makes a living.
For example, her starting rate for a three-frame Instagram story was $350, while a TikTok video started at $1,000, she told Insider. Baiden said she adapts her rates for every deal, and determines those rates depending on the deliverables, usage rates, and exclusivity. (Read more about how Baiden makes money as a nano influencer.)
Creators often ink their first brand deals as a nano influencer, too. Ayomi Samaraweera, ex-TikTok staffer and founder of creator-economy startup Canopy, secured her first brand deal with 2,000 followers.
One 2022 report by the influencer-marketing platform Izea broke down how much influencers with various size followings earn across Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Overall, influencer rates have increased, with nano influencers making 36 times more than they did in 2015, Izea found.
Nano influencers have become increasingly important to brands and influencer-marketing agencies because of their niche content and highly engaged audiences. They also typically have lower rates than influencers with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers.
That's in part why brands and sponsors are eyeing college athletes with thousands of followers after the NCAA lifted its NIL restrictions.
"You don't have to have 40,000 followers or even 10,000, 5,000 followers to take advantage of these [NIL] rules," Christopher Aumueller, the CEO of the athlete-marketing and brand development upstart FanWord, told Insider.
And platforms specialized in helping nano influencers connect with brands, like Heartbeat, have already established themselves in the industry.
While reaching 10,000 followers on Instagram is a major milestone for aspiring influencers — getting on more brands' radars, building a bigger audience, unlocking access to specific monetization tools — some nano influencers are making money in spite of their smaller follower counts.
We spoke with half a dozen nano influencers about how they make money.
Here's a comprehensive list of Insider's coverage of how nano influencers are building businesses:
How much money 11 nano influencers charge for brand deals on Instagram:
- Tess Barclay, a lifestyle influencer with fewer than 10,000 followers on Instagram and TikTok
- Khadijah Lacey-Taylor, a fashion and lifestyle influencer with Instagram 9,800 followers
- Jalyn Baiden, a skincare influencer with 4,000 followers on Instagram and 8,000 followers on TikTok
- Julie Tecson, an influencer and talent manager with 7,100 Instagram followers.
- Paulina Perez, a lifestyle influencer with 7,000 Instagram followers
- Jour'dan Haynes, a lifestyle creator with 5,900 Instagram followers
- Jack Betts, a college athlete with around 5,500 Instagram followers
- Laur DeMartino, a nano influencer and full-time college student with Instagram 5,200 followers
- Stacy Kim, a travel and fashion influencer with 3,400 Instagram followers
- Jen Lauren, a part-time lifestyle influencer with Instagram 2,900 followers
- Amber Broder, a part-time skincare influencer and full-time college student with Instagram 2,300 followers
Examples of real media kits and DMs that 7 nano influencers use to pitch brands:
- Stacy Kim shared the 1-page media kit she uses as a college student
- Tess Barclay reveals the simple 1-page media kit she sends to brands
- Jour'dan Haynes shared her 3-page media kit.
- Jalyn Baiden details the DM she sends to brands
- Laur DeMartino unpacks her 9-page media kit
- Jen Lauren breaks down the 3-page media kit she used
- Kayla Compton shares her 8-page media kit
This story has been updated with new details.